Hickory Nut Mountain Road

4.5/5 (10 reviews)
Royal, Arkansas (Garland County)
Last Updated: 07/24/2020

Trail Information


Located just 20 miles west of Hot Springs is a beautiful overlook of Lake Ouachita. This is an excellent Sunday drive with a little excitement on the way to the top of Hickory Nut Mountain Vista. It starts off as a leisurely stroll down a gravel road with amazing Arkansas scenery. About halfway when it turns off the main road is where it gets a little more interesting. At this point, the terrain is slightly rougher. The view from the top on a clear day is nothing short of amazing and definitely worth the trek up there. There is dispersed tent camping just down from the overlook and hiking and mountain biking trails are nearby if one is feeling adventurous.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.5/5 (10)
Rated 4/5
Visited: 04/15/2021

Was able to get out today and try out the new lift and tires on the truck. Airing down wasn't an option today so the ride up the side of the mountain in the rocks was really bumpy but still had a great time.
Visited: 11/14/2020

There are two ways to get to the top of the mountain and the incredible vista of Lake Ouachita. From the east end at Crystal Springs or the west end, several miles to the west. If you are in a passenger car, definitely take the west end. The dirt road is wide and smooth to the top. But considering you are on this website, you and your four-wheel drive vehicle are going to approach the top from the east end. That was the route for me and my Toyota FJ. Plan to take some time to stop at the low water bridge to enjoy the creek. Great scenery on both sides, including a small waterfall. There is also a faucet set in stone here on the flat part. People were stopped filling up water jugs. I’m not sure what the water source is. Once you start up the mountain, the road gets a bit more challenging. There are dips which are fun and loose rocks along the trail. I did put it in four-wheel drive for the ascent. The view to your left of the mountains across the valley are nice and when you get to the top, you are rewarded with an amazing view of Lake Ouachita. It has to be one of the best scenes in southwest Arkansas. Spend sometime and enjoy! Headed back down, you can continue through the parking lot and down the smooth way, or go back down the way you came.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/08/2020

Road from Hwy.270 to Lake Ouachita vista is a little bumpy in places, but still a good gravel road that even passenger cars can navigate. Take the trails through the gate at the far end of the vista parking to wind down side of mountain to the Lake. Narrow, steep & rocky in places,
Official Crew
Visited: 07/24/2020

Ran this trail with a group of Jeeps. Everyone had a great time. All of the waypoints are still spot on. I recommend airing down your tires just a bit if you have the capability. Mostly more for comfort than traction because it does get bumpy. The view from the top is always outstanding. The view on a clear night with a full moon is beautiful.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/28/2020

Nice trail, just as described! The waypoint descriptions are nice and my co-pilot (11yo son) used them to make sure we were on the right track. Next time we go, I'm going to explore some of the trails that you pass on the way up. I was glad I took a few minutes to air down my tires before i got too far in. Some of the rocky sections are on the longer side with medium-sized loose rocks. It gets pretty bumpy, and would have been worse at full pressure. I'm not sure I needed 4Low on the day I was out there (not too much mud), but it sure was easier on my truck as I just slowly crawled thru the more difficult sections. This was our 2nd trail from the site. Next on the list are the trails further east, over by Lake Winona.

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